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Open AccessArticle

Elastomer Characterization Method for Trapped Rubber Processing

Division of Material and Computational Mechanics, Department of Industrial and Materials Science, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Göteborg, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(3), 686;
Received: 27 February 2020 / Revised: 11 March 2020 / Accepted: 15 March 2020 / Published: 19 March 2020
The increasing high-volume demand for polymer matrix composites (PMCs) brings into focus the need for autoclave alternative processing. Trapped rubber processing (TRP) of PMCs is a method capable of achieving high pressures during polymer matrix composite processing by utilizing thermally induced volume change of a nearly incompressible material inside a closed cavity mold. Recent advances in rubber materials and computational technology have made this processing technique more attractive. Elastomers can be doped with nanoparticles to increase thermal conductivity and this can be further tailored for local variations in thermal conductivity for TRP. In addition, recent advances in computer processing allow for simulation of coupled thermomechanical processes for full part modeling. This study presents a method of experimentally characterizing prospective rubber materials. The experiments are designed to characterize the dynamic in situ change in temperature, the dynamic change in volume, and the resulting real-time change in surface pressure. The material characterization is specifically designed to minimize the number and difficulty of experimental tests while fully capturing the rubber behavior for the TRP scenario. The experimental characterization was developed to provide the necessary data for accurate thermomechanical material models of nearly incompressible elastomeric polymers for use in TRP virtual design and optimization. View Full-Text
Keywords: composites; processing; elastomers; reinforced polymer composites; autoclave alternative; TRP composites; processing; elastomers; reinforced polymer composites; autoclave alternative; TRP
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Khalili, P.; Boulanger, T.; Blinzler, B.J. Elastomer Characterization Method for Trapped Rubber Processing. Polymers 2020, 12, 686.

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